Passwords are a fact of life in today’s world. We’ve got them for our emails, bank accounts, websites, social accounts, the list goes on! You’ve probably also heard that you should have a strong password in order to minimise the risk of your accounts being hacked. As passwords play such a significant role in keeping our digital lives secure, it’s important to understand how to strengthen our passwords.
5 Tips to Strengthen Passwords
- Password Length
Short passwords are unsafe and easy to crack. Hackers can very quickly brute force attack your passwords and crack short passwords in a matter of minutes. For passwords you want a minimum of 10 characters in length. With each additional character, brute force attacks become exponentially more difficult so add length to those passwords!
Long passwords that including random words and phrases which aren’t grammatically correct are best. Adding these traits makes your passwords difficult to crack. For those of you who have trouble with spelling and grammar, now is your time to shine!
- Use numbers, symbols, upper-case and lower-case
Include a random sample of symbols, numbers and upper-case and lower-case letters in your password. Randomness is important, and the more elements you include, the greater security you have from a computer cracking your password.
- Don’t make it personal
Avoid using your personal information in your password. mYey35aREblu3! might be a good password, but anybody who knows you have blue eyes may be able to guess it. Your personal information can be easily found by hackers with even something as simple as a Google search.
- Don’t recycle
Don’t reuse your password. You wouldn’t use the same key to unlock every door at your home, work, and car as you would be in trouble if a thief gets that key and has access to everything. Yikes! The same is true for your passwords. Keep them unique and separate from other accounts.
If all of this sounds a bit much, and you’re contemplating ejecting yourself from society and buying a one-way ticket to Tibet for solitude and sanctuary, then never fear because there is an easier way!
Password managers are a great way to keep track of all your passwords and most have in-built password generators to strengthen your passwords, so they are difficult to crack. Plus, you’ll only have to remember one master password to get into your password safe. Some good examples are Keeper, LastPass and Dashlane, but if you’re into free and open source then Bitwarden and KeePass are excellent options as well.
1. Password Length over 10 characters
2. Keep your passwords random
3. Use a random selection of numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters
4. Don’t make passwords personal
5. Don’t recycle passwords and instead create new ones
Unfortunately, no password is completely safe, but if you use these 5 tips you’ll go a long way towards better securing your digital life. L8ter_Fo1kz!